The Aguirre Family

The Summer of The Keytar

I first started going to Mexico when I was about five years old for summer vacation. Every summer my dad would pack my suitcase with gifts for my cousins. One year it was barbies and action figures. The summer of 1991 it was this key-tar that we were all supposed to share. Bad idea. Every one of us wanted to play with it and when it came time to letting another cousin have some time with it, some of us weren't too happy about it. 

Keytar Summer 1

Keytar Summer 2

Keytar Summer 3

Keytar Summer 4

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It's been way too long since I've had a field day with my family. I remember baking bread with my grandma in an old stone oven and playing in the creek. Okay, I'm reminiscing now. 

Amanda ❤

Andrea's Almost Here!

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Back in October I mentioned that our family was growing and that my cousin Erika was having her first kid. Well, the time has come and at the end of this week, I'll be an aunt again! I'm sure I'll post pictures once she's born and my cousin sends me some! I'm excited although the poor girl is going to have so many names to remember. Her real name is Andrea but my cousin Melanie, Erika's sister, has been calling her Constanza, I've been calling her Olivia Rubi and my uncle, Erika's dad, has been calling her Pamfila! I really wish I could be there but hopefully I'll be able to see her in December. 

Amanda ❤

R.I.P Tia Cacho

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Last night, the most amazing woman that has ever touched my life, passed away. We got to enjoy her for the last 86 years and finally, God gets his chance with her. I'm honored to know that she'll be one of my guardian angels from here on out and that she'll fight tooth and nail to protect us all. She was never afraid of death and knew that one day he'd come knocking on her door. Being the wonderful woman she was, she'd invite him in, offer him what little she had and then gladly take his hand while he led her away. Never one to be sad or angry or any negative emotion, we've all learned that we should strive to live life the way that she did. Always positive, always smiling and forever getting calling us 'Cabrones'. She was such a positive person, that everyone loved her and no doubt, there will be tons of people in church at her mass tonight. Even though she was terminally ill, she wasalways out in the streets, or had people coming over to visit her or her phone would be ringing off the hook.  She was always so grateful, even for a small thing such as a pair of earmuffs or a box of chocolate or just to have someone visit her, if only for 20 minutes. 

I wrote about my Tia Cacho earlier this year when I came back from Mexico and you could go read that if you'd like. I don't cry because I know she's in such a better place now and instead of only being able to see her sporadically whenever I went to Mexico, she can now be with me all the time. 

She'll be forever missed! 

Amanda ❤

Cappuccina

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Cappuccina is my cousin Melanie's dog. She found her as a puppy in Indé a few months back. Melanie loves coffee so she named her after cappuccinos. 

This was the first time I had met her and I decided I wanted to take pictures of Melanie and her. I love how this picture came out where she's kind of grinning. As soon as Melanie showed her to me, I fell in love with her. She's so sweet, is super soft, doesn't bite, is playful and loving. I only heard her bark once the entire time that I was there and that was because she was chasing pigeons around the garden. 

Unfortunately, the 'doesn't bite' aspect is a disadvantage. Turns out, some people thought it was okay to beat dogs and since she's so loving and trusting of humans, she didn't even bite to protect herself. There were a couple of times where we'd find blood on her and she'd limp around. It's disgusting how people think it's okay to do that. 

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She would sleep in a yard with a horse and in the morning she would go to my grandpa's store. My aunt or my grandpa would call the house to let us know she was over there and then we'd call her to the house and she'd come and we'd feed her or she'd take a nap in the garden. Some nights she'd sleep in the house in the back hallway. I even let her sleep with me in my room once simply because that night was really cold and I felt sorry for her having to sleep outside. She didn't even know what to do with herself inside the room but eventually she got settled in and fell asleep. 

My favorite thing she would do is she would just throw herself on the ground to be scratched and petted and she's just wiggle her tail contently. I miss her. :( 

Amanda ❤

Casimira Aguirre Bustamante

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My Tia Cacho is one of the strongest people I've ever known. As an Aguirre, we've always done things our own way on our own terms. There's no question about it. You can't tell but in this picture, you'd never know that she is terminally ill. 

All the Aguirre woman are strong, assertive woman and during this trip, I learned where we get it from. My Tia didn't get married until she was in her 50s which is something that's admirable to me. I've always wanted a family early so for her to wait, is beyond belief to me. She never had kids but everybody loves her so much. We're all her kids, she says. Let's put it this way, there are non-family members who call her Tia. My cousin Melanie's friend, Alejandro, asked if he could call her Tia and she said, "As long as you're not ashamed to call me Tia". How sweet! 

She's battled cancer twice without chemo. Unfortunately, she's battling it one more time presently and it hurt me so much to see her in the condition that she's in. This time she also has a pulmonary edema as well. I didn't know how bad it was until I went to see her. But she's a trooper. 

She still talks smack to us girls calling us 'Cabronas' but we just respond, "Look where we got it from!" and she just laughs. She still has an insane sense of humor as well. On a recent doctor's appointment, the doctor told her she was slightly anemic. She gets to my grandma's house and tells her, "Put some beans on the stove. I've got anemia". Forget about having cancer and a pulmonary edema, she's worried because she's anemic!  

Bless her soul though because there was one point where my cousin Melanie and I had to go to her house, (after just coming from there) to explain to her how to plug in and operate a small heater. We stayed there for 15 minutes trying to explain to her how to turn it on, where to change the temperature, and how to turn it off. 

After seeing her though, I honestly have no idea how long she's going to have left but I'm glad I was able to see her before things got worse. When I showed up at her door when I first got to Indé, she practically started crying since she hadn't seen me in so many years. I'm glad I was able to take a couple of pictures of her and you can't even tell that she's sick. 

What makes me so happy is the fact that everybody does love her so much. When she's at home, because she was out in the streets more than I was, the phone is constantly ringing to see if she wants company, to see if she needs anything, to see who's with her, to see what she's been doing. Everybody is constantly checking in on her. She also takes the time to talk to anybody who talks to her on the street. 

I hope I can have an impact on people the same way she does. 

Amanda ❤

El Espinazo Del Diablo

Which translates into the devils backbone. 

My cousin Claudia and I hadn't been here since we were small along with my cousin Erick. I was maybe 5 or 6, and they're younger than I am. 

El diablo

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So of course we had to stop and take a picture to commemorate. Haha! 

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Too bad Erick couldn't have been with us. It would have been awesome. 

Amanda ❤

Mazatlan to Durango and Back Again

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I hadn't flown into Mazatlan since I was about 5 so I didn't remember the drive from there to Durango but I DO remember being eerily too close for comfort to the edge of the mountains and hoping that the car wouldn't roll over the side into the damn Sierra Madre mountains. So while my cousin was driving me and his sister back from Mazatlan to Durango I got a good 4 hour helping of what it's like to be on that road. 

Here's a Google Map of that particular road: 

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You're literally winding your way up and down, in and out of the mountains. There is hardly a straight stretch of road. Either you're making a sharp right or sharp left turn. You can't help but get a little nauseous. 

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On the way there, my cousin Aldo was telling me how dangerous the road really is. All along the way you see little shrines to people who have died on that highway. But don't get me wrong, the turns aren't the killers on this road. The killers on this road are the 18-wheelers and the fog/cloud cover. These are sharp blind turns so you have no idea what's coming on the other side. Well, the smart truck drivers that they are, they tend to NOT lower their speed so they're hitting these turns at 60-65 MPH. Sometimes two trucks will be turning at the same time and get stuck. One will have to back up to let the other pass because they both can't pass at the same time. 

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Fast forward to when my cousin, Said and uncle are taking me back to Mazatlan to catch my plane, and I'm winding my way back, we see an 18-wheeler overturn and not to far behind us was another 18-wheeler. Apparently, it happens all too often where the truck is carrying such a load that one of the turns just makes it tip over. 

Here's a video of what it's like to be driving on that highway.

 

Luckily, we were traveling on a clear day but the fog and cloud cover come so fast and envelope everything to the point where you have practically zero visibility. In this video, around minute 3:35 to 4, you see how the fog just creeps up. 

 

In the second video, at minute 5:05, you realize just how close these trucks get to one another. Pea.Ess: Don't mind the music in this video, my cousin was listening to some weird renditions of love songs that even I wouldn't listen to. hahaha.  

So, did I scare you yet? No? Good! As much as this IS a dangerous highway, it's also one of the most majestic and beautiful things I've seen in my life. It's something that you have to experience. Being high up in the Sierra Madre mountains looking down on everything then realizing that you're not even at the peak of the mountain because it stretches up another 1,000 feet. The lush green greenery and the rocks are awesome! 

Amanda ❤

I Am Thankful For....

This week has TRULY been a BLESSED week.

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*Monday, my grandparents celebrated 59 years of MARRIAGE! 59 faithfully committed years of marriage. That in and of itself is a blessing and I look up to them as inspiration for my someday, eventual marriage. (Hopefully)

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*Yesterday, my cousin on my mom's side,Nadine had her first child, Joshua Nathaniel Espinosa, and he's ADORABLE! He looks just like her and came out with a head full of jet black hair. (It must run in the family. I came out the same way *wink*) 

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*Today one of my favorite cousins, on my dad's side, graduated and became a doctor! It's amazing to think back when we were 12 and all giddy about boys and now, we're both women and she's doing good in the world. 

It's events like these that make life wonderful and I'm so thankful to have these people in my life. Each of them are inspirations in their own respect and I love them all for it. Congrats to each of them! Today, I'm cooking for me and my sister so we decided to have steak instead of turkey, which means I won't be cooking all day like most of you. (I find that to be too tedious for me). I'll post pictures and recipes tomorrow of what I made.  Hope you have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving day. I'll ba watching 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' later on. Who DOESN'T love John Hughes?! 

Amanda ❤